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How to Restring a Ballet Shoe

Keep your shoes fitting correctly through rehearsals and performances.
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A thin cord runs around the opening of pointe shoes and ballet slippers. Its purpose is to hold the shoe snug to the dancer's foot, ensuring that it cannot slide out of place and cause her any harm. Discovering that the drawstring's end has slipped inside the shoe is a common problem, particularly when it comes to tightly-stretched, elasticated drawstrings. Restring the cord inside the drawstring's encasing to prevent injury and ensure that the foot stays securely inside the shoe.

Things You'll Need:

  • Pin
  • Safety Pins

Feel the drawstring encasing until you find the cord. Hold the cord through the encasing between your thumb and forefinger, keeping your grip 1/2 inch from the end. With the opposite hand, push the encasing back toward the hidden end until you see the cord. Use the end of a pin to drag the cord from inside the shoe and retie it securely at the shoe's vamp.

Slip a small safety pin into the drawstring's opening if you are unable to retrieve the cord. Push the pin in just far enough to ensure that it fits into the encasing; then remove it.

Unstring the shoe completely and stick the point of the safety pin into an end of the cord. Close the pin and push it into the drawstring's encasing.

Slide the pin through the encasing, gripping the pin through the fabric and drawing the cord through the shoe. When the end of the cord is near the shoe's vamp, pin it to the drawstring encasing to prevent it from falling back inside the shoe. Continue until the pin surfaces at the other side of the vamp. Tie the cord at the opening.


  • Do not attempt to dance on a poorly-fitting shoe as this could cause ankle damage and tendon strain.
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